Thursday, December 6th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

cebas ships finalRender Drop 2

Cebas Visual Technology has released finalRender Drop 2, the latest update to its 3ds Max renderer, improving path tracing speed and introducing a new ‘biasHybrid’ hybrid biased/unbiased rendering mode.

The update also introduces random walk subsurface scattering, full support for 3ds Max’s native Physical Material, and extends finalRender’s implementation of Nvidia’s OptiX denoising technology.

Faster path tracing in trueHybrid rendering
Drop 2 further refines the ‘trueHybrid’ CPU/GPU rendering system introduced in last September’s major update to the software – officially version-numberless, but effectively finalRender R4.

On its website, cebas claims that unbiased CPU and GPU processing has been “sped up by up to 25%”; the test scene in the video above shows a somewhat larger speed increase for pure path tracing.

Use of GPU memory has also been reduced by “up to 50%” on newer Nvidia graphics cards.

Speed boosts from new ‘biasHybrid’ rendering mode
The update also introduces biasHybrid, a “highly optimised light cache system to speed up secondary global illumination ray calculations”.

According to cebas CEO Edwin Braun: “For the first time, a biased rendering method has been ‘married’ with a true unbiased spectral based rendering technology! It is like achieving the task of squaring the circle.”

(Editor’s note: we assume that the ‘first time’ refers specifically to the combination of a GI cache and spectral rendering, since other renderers do offer the option to combine a cache with path tracing, but we’ve contacted cebas to clarify.)

Updated: Both the combination of biased methods with unbiased spectral rendering, and the fact that the implementation runs on either CPU or GPU with identical output.

Edwin Braun commented: “We do biased rendering 100% on GPU and 100% on CPU [and] true unbiased spectral rendering on top of it! It is a true ‘mixed’ biased/unbiased spectral rendering approach.”

In the test scene shown in the video above, a render using biasHybrid completes in 170 seconds, as opposed to 567 seconds for one performed purely using finalRender’s unbiased path tracing.

Random walk SSS, HDRI denoising, full support for 3ds Max’s Physical material
Other changes in finalRender Drop 2 include support for random walk subsurface scattering, also recently implemented in Arnold and OctaneRender.

According to cebas, the new system speeds up SSS calculations and improves the quality of results with cavities or thin protrusions on the surface of a model.

In addition, finalRender’s implementation of Nvidia’s AI-driven OptiX render denoising technology, introduced in Drop 1, now supports HDR colour values.

FinalRender also now “fully supports” 3ds Max’s Physical Material. Older 3ds Max scenes can be converted to use the Physical Material via Autodesk’s own Scene Converter.

Other changes include support for particle instancing in cebas’s 3ds Max particle effects plugin thinkingParticles, plus reduced noise when using area lights or sky portals.

Pricing and availability
FinalRender is available for 3ds Max 2017+. The software is rental-only, with subscriptions priced at $24.50/month or $294/year. Drop 2 is free to subscribers.

An Unlimited GPU subscription, which lets finalRender run on more than two rendering cards, costs a further $294/year; as does an Unlimited Network subscription, which lets it run on unlimited render nodes.

Read more about the new features in finalRender Drop 2 on cebas’s website